Carl Donald Keith was a chemist who was co-inventor of the three-way catalytic converter, which has played a dramatic role in reducing pollution from motor vehicles since their introduction in the mid-1970s.
Keith was born on May 29, 1920 in Stewart Creek, West Virginia to Howard, a steelworker, and Mary Rawson Keith, who worked in a bakery. He received a bachelors degree from Salem College in North Carolina in 1943, earned a master's degree in chemistry from Indiana University in 1945 and was awarded a doctorate from DePaul University in 1947.
From 1943 to 1957, Keith was a chemist at Sinclair Oil. He later was hired by Engelhard Industries.
From 1976 until his retirement from Engelhard in 1985, Keith was an executive vice president, president and finally chairman of the company.